A member of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo State, Femi Olaitan Hero has penned a strongly-worded open letter to Governor Seyi Makinde, assessing his administration in all sectors.
The Letter Reads:
Executive Governor of Oyo State.
Engineer (Sir) Oluwaseyi Makinde
CLARION CALL FOR POLITICAL, SOCIAL EMANCIPATION CUM SOUND LEADERSHIP
I write with utmost sense of humility as a citizen of Oyo State and member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). In this letter, I hope to draw your attention to fundamental issues affecting the state, government and the party. This is coming as a result of keen interest in your administration that we all labored wholeheartedly for. The issues would be addressed one by one with all objectivity and I hope you would consider them imperative for a quick action as soon as possible.
Leadership and Governance
Frank Herbert once said, “Good governance never depends upon laws, but upon the personal qualities of those who govern. The machinery of government is always subordinate to the will of those who administer that machinery. The most important element of government, therefore, is the method of choosing leaders.”
Your Excellency, sir, it is no doubt you came in as the Executive Governor of our state at a time when everyone, if not all, wanted a change of power as a result of poor governance and careless talks of late governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi of blessed memory. I must say here that late Ajimobi tried as the Head of Pace-setter state in numerous ways, mostly on infrastructure, security, transportation, health, among others, but woefully failed on human management, education and salary payment which had gross effect on the economy. Oyo State is a civil service state and once the workers are not paid, the market men and women would not sell or better still sell on credit, hoping to have the money paid upon the salary settlement by the government. I am sure you know some of his flaws that triggered the coalition which produced you as the governor; it was on a ground of fighting a common enemy which was Ajimobi and that also made PDP won Oyo South Senatorial District election, defeating the late governor, not that our candidate was a saint or the best.
Sir, I must commend the way you have judiciously managed and governed some sectors in the state; mostly, in the area welfarism of civil servants which first gave credit to your administration. This was well celebrated because the previous administration woefully failed in that area. Ordinarily, prompt salary payment is not supposed to be an achievement or something worth celebrating. Salary or welfare package for staff is just a norm and obligation that must be fulfilled having worked for such a service. You have also done well on education; even though, I have my reservations which shall later be discussed properly.
Permit me to state here that you are ignoring certain leadership tools in governance and this drastically is affecting your input and output. You have ignored the principles and ideology that brought you to the Government House; therefore, some factors might be working against the administration either consciously or unconsciously. As a leader, I was of the thought that you would have tried all your possible best to manage everyone irrespective of political or ideological differences, noting that you have more battles ahead to win. This is just your first term in office, sir, and it shows that you still need many people even than the last election so that you can capture the whole state or even pocket the state if possible through your achievements, good inter-personal relationship and fair deals with everyone around you. It is true that the song changes upon the victory of any election, as many new friends will showcase even if they had neglected you for years. People associate with success but dissociate themselves from failure. If you had lost the 2019 election, all the new friends wouldn’t have associated with you, sir. I am certain that some of them were nowhere to be found during struggle. This is to tell you that “a friend in time of trouble is a loyal and true individual one must not joke with; not the one that comes after victory.” Ignoring old friends and marriages for new ones might be very dangerous to you and your administration because a devil known is far better the angel you don’t know.
Security and Transportation
I still want to quote Nelson Mandela who said, “Safety and security don’t just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear.”
Dear Governor, it is a notable fact that you have invested so much in the security sector of this state within the space of about 20 months in Agodi Government House if not more than the 8 years of former administration but the result is still zero, if not negative. The question you should ask yourself and the Chief Security Officer is “What is responsible for the insecurity upon all your investment, including the newly Amotekun you just inaugurated?” I think you should know that something is fundamentally wrong somewhere which you might have ignored, neglected or overlooked out of friendship. Your Excellency, I was excited when you suspended the activities of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in the state thinking you would restructure and redefine their activities before bringing them on board through a structured monitoring plan from the Ministry of Works and Transports but unfortunately, reverse was the case. Your administration came up with “Park Management System (PMS)” with a disciplinary committee headed by, Alhaji Mukaila Auxilliary as the Head of PMS which was protested by the NURTW for handing over the union to him without election or popularity. Once you announced him as the head, everyone knew that you were returning the state to era of violence, kidnapping, stealing, killing, disobedience to orders, and so on. This is just the exact thing happening in the state right now and which you are finding difficult to manage. Auxillary boys are proving to be strong men in town and believing they can do anyhow without anybody challenging them while other NURTW guys are on the opposite side of them. Now, things fall apart, and the centre cannot hold. The men you took their daily means away from them without any alternative means are now on the streets to make governance ungovernable for you and your friend, Auxilliary. Did I say other NURTW men on the opposite are the ones stealing or killing, breaking houses in the state? Oh, no! But, can they have the knowledge of the happenings? I think yes. I remembered late Ajimobi saying during the handover dinner that he has eradicated thuggery and violence in Ibadan. He furthered stated that those who used to carry guns and charms around before were now wearing Yoruba attire “agbada” and driving good cars, living good lives instead of violence they were known for.
There’s an urgent need for stakeholders meeting in the state on security to find lasting solution to the insecurity.
You may have to be proactive on the security challenge across the state so as not to lose your authority as the number one citizen. Having understood that insecurity is a national challenge, you must check out your parameters and have what strategic researchers call Strength, Weak, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis of it done for exact action. Are you not perplexed that an office in the State Secretariat was vandalised by armed robbers? Can anywhere else in the state be safe if the Governor’s Office was not secured?
I commend your effort on procurement of some buses for the state but hope it would not end up enriching a group of people and masses would, at the end, suffer for it. Are there modalities and plans for the management of these expensive vehicles? I think this should be urgently addressed.
“Sometimes, God doesn’t send you into a battle to win it; he sends you to end it.” ― Shannon L. Alder
Crisis is expected in any gathering you have many people. Even, in the family settings, it happens. It is no longer news that human beings owe right to have different opinions on issues which might contradict one another. What is most important, as a leader, is how crisis is managed or resolved without any party feeling bad. Sir, you are unaware that all is not well in the party which led to your action of constituting a reconciliation committee. Before this committee was constituted, I believe you know who you were fighting or who were fighting you as the case may be. You took a bold step of maintaining peace with all men as you invited elder statesmen for this noble assignment led by Dr Saka Adegbite Balogun. I have not seen any action thus far from the government since they submitted their report which secretly leaked and got circulated on the social media platforms. You have not started inviting the aggrieved parties as contained in the document for a peaceful resolution of the crisis. The matter is not ambiguous; it is just a demand, recommendation and, say, in the government. This is a matter only you as the governor can address and resolve with them. I will suggest you reconnect the aggrieved individuals like Alhaji Adebisi Olopooeyan, Honourable Mulikat Akande-Adeola, Engineer Femi Babalola, and so on.
Sir, if you fail to manage Oyo PDP well, you may not have the grace to lead the South-West PDP. This is because he who fails to manage his own house cannot manage other people’s house. If people that are supposed to stand by you from the state are against you in one way or the other, how then would you take a stand to lead the whole zone? A house divided on its own cannot stand. If all is not well at home by any man, all cannot be well outside. Please, settle your home and put it in order before securing other states. I believe if properly managed, you would achieve your aim at the end but if fail, you have lost the battle. Every state has their structure which you might not understand and those people coming around would not say the truth because of their selfish interest. How would you, sir, declare support for Adagunodo? This is a man that has taken the party to court. Can a son take his father to court and still return home or still expect fatherly love from him? Can he stand Adeleke dynasty in Osun? Can he withstand what the Adelekes have been doing to keep the party men and women in Osun state? Even, a first term governor would not want him be sidelined in the affairs of the state party, not to talk of a family that has been spending on the party over a decade. Late Isiaka Adeleke wouldn’t have left the party for the All Progressives Congress (APC) then if not for the backdoor Senator Iyiola Omisore used to get his ticket because of his influence with the National Executive Council and assistance of late Buruji Kashamu but the election result is history today.
In Ogun State, you may not have your way without the blessing of Adebutu dynasty as they hold the party structure and power in that state. You would recall that late Sen Kashamu tried to hijack the structure and ticket during the last election but woefully failed to secure it. So, it would be advisable that you liaise with these stakeholders in each state to have your way or restore peace. You may not be here to win the battle, sir, but to end the crisis and restore the lasting peace. I believe that what will be, will surely be. This same analysis goes to Lagos, Ondo and Ekiti where you have Fayose, a two-term governor in the state. This is my own bitter truth as I observed with keen interest. It is a fact that a tree cannot make a forest. As you have once listened to some elders before your election, I would appeal you do so again before it will be too late. Yoruba adage says “ki a dobale fun arara ko ni ki o ga ju eniyan lo”. Chief Akala once prostrated publicly for late Adedibu and it earned him a governorship seat he might have not gotten. Many benefitted position from Tinubu as a result of their loyalty and humility like Aregbesola, Fashola, Ambode, Sanwo-Olu, and Akeredolu.
I could vividly remember your pronouncement of free education for all in the state upon your swearing-in as the Executive Governor. Any reasonable being would commend such a great move. It is observed that the total free education is not effective as some schools don’t have petty-cash to run the school activities like: printing of test and examination questions, execution of basic programmes like quiz and debate, celebration of notable dates, among others. This is because you have given an instruction that no school head should be caught collecting money for any reason. I hope you have a little review of this so that the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) can raise some funds for the smooth running of academic activities in the school.
Scholarship and Bursary
May I bring to your notice that students do not appreciate your sentiment for a section of students’ group in the state. You have chosen to recognise only LAW STUDENTS as cogent learners of pacesetter state whereas we have other groups of students that are also working hard in school to return for adequate contribution to the economy, growth and development of our dear state. Have you forgotten the roles medical students would contribute to the health sector when they graduate? What about the engineering students, education students who will turn to nation builders, social science and arts students are not left out, among others? Sir, kindly review this with immediate effect and let everyone have a sense of belonging as citizens of Oyo state.
As a professional on this field, I will objectively state that you have passion for sports but may be you have not gotten professionals who could have promoted it. It would be of great benefits if values can be added to our state sports industry. Sport is an activity that aids social and inter-personal relationship, mental and psychological development; enhances the economy and it develops skills. Sports should be made popular in our schools to strengthen students’ potentials and creativity. We can have different competitions running in the state to discover talents and encourage others like; Governor’s Cup, State Schools’ Champions, State Swimming Junior Cup, Makinde’s Tennis Game, etc.
I want to also recommend that the state make some sports compulsory in the state-owned schools. This would help the children develop their thinking and logical skills. These games include scrabble, chess, and so on. If professionals are consulted, it would restore the state’s sports glory. I may offer a free service to the state on this, and I believe you would see the result. We will randomly select schools across the five-geo-political zones in the state.
Accept assurance of my warm regards. Compliments of the season to you, sir. I wish you a prosperous New Year.
Femi Olaitan Hero
+234 703 240 9646